ESPN expert says Kevin Kolb is 18th best quarterback in NFL

Aug 31, 2011, 5:16 PM | Updated: 9:01 pm

Being compared to Chad Pennington is probably not something Kevin Kolb was hoping for. Unfortunately for him, and possibly Arizona Cardinals fans, that’s what ESPN’s John Clayton did Wednesday (well, sort of).

The reference to the former Jets and Dolphins quarterback came as part of a column where Clayton ranked every quarterback in the NFL and placed each in one of three categories: The Elite, the Chad Pennington Division and the Hit or Miss division. Kolb fell in the Pennington category as the 18th best signal caller in Clayton’s estimation.

While being compared to a quarterback who was average at best and who was known more for his injuries than his time on the field may not seem ideal, but, as Clayton explains, it’s not all bad.

The Penningtons are the quarterbacks who may not be elite but are good enough to take a team to the playoffs if the talent around them is good enough or if the schedule is easy enough.

Kolb certainly has a decent amount of talent surrounding him. Most of which resides in the hands of Larry Fitzgerald. If the two can build a chemistry early on this season the Cardinals could be significantly better than last year’s 5-11 record. That’s something Clayton agrees with.

18. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals

Analysis: Neat fact: Kolb won two NFC Player of the Week awards in his seven starts in Philadelphia. He will throw the ball to Larry Fitzgerald 10 or 11 times a game. If he can complete eight or nine passes to other players — which he should — Kolb can get the Cardinals to eight wins.

If Kolb leads the Cardinals to eight wins is it good enough to win the NFC West and get back to the playoffs? If last season was any indication they could win the division going away with that win total.

In the end the division probably rides on the shoulders of Kolb and St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford. If we trust Clayton, the Rams and their second year signal caller have the slight edge, as Bradford is ranked 14th overall.

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ESPN expert says Kevin Kolb is 18th best quarterback in NFL